A Valentine's Day DIY and my Valentine's Recipe Recap

Have a million broken left over crayons you don't now what to do with?

Me too!!! I have your solution!!! 


VALENTINE'S RECIPE RECAP!!!

Recipe for these fabulous heart cookie lollipops {HERE}


Recipe for these hot pink chocolate chip cookies {HERE}



Recipe for these decidant Triple Chocolate Bombs {HERE}


Recipe for these gorgeous Hot Pink Valentine's Day Pin wheel cookies {HERE}


Recipe for these Stuffed Nutella Muffins {HERE}


I sincerely hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's day with someone special.

Ciao for now lovelies!!!


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Easy Stuffed Nutella Muffins for Valentine's Day

You all know my obsession with Nutella and how I want to not only make everything I can out of it but just eat it straight out of the jar. So when I saw {these}stuffed Nutella muffins I knew I had to make them.
They were SUPER easy!!!! Definitely a beginner recipe and SUPER delicious!!!

I spread heart shapes on top of each one for Valentine's day!!! SO CUTE!!!

Nutella Breakfast Muffins
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Nut & Butter flavoring (optional)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt with 1 tablespoon sparkling sugar
BabbleNutellaMuffin3 150x150 Nutella Breakfast MuffinsPreheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat together the egg, oil, sugar, flour, baking powder, soda, and vanilla flavorings until smooth.  Beat in the buttermilk, then spoon a small amount of the batter into the bottom of a muffin tin lined with a cupcake wrapper.  Spoon a tablespoon or so of Nutella into the center of the cup, then cover with a second spoonful of batter. Sprinkle a small amount of the salt & sparkling sugar mixture on top of each muffin.
Bake in preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, or just until the center of the muffins spring back when touched lightly with your finger.  Remove and cool.  Drizzle warm Nutella on top of each muffin or spread a heart shape on top of each one for Valentine's day before serving.  Enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day!







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Valentine's Day Triple Chocolate Truffle Bombs




Valentine's Day Triple Chocolate Truffle Bombs



This recipe will make 12-24 giant truffles depending on the size of your silicone molds.

Special Tools: Silicone heart molds or any other shaped silicone molds

Ingredients Cake: 
1  cup semi sweet chocolate chops or chopped chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1.5 cup boiling water
1.5 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1.5 cup brown sugar
1/2  cup white sugar
2 stick unsalted butter at room temp
4 large eggs
1/42cup butter milk or coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

 Recipe for cake:
1.preheat over to 325. 
2.coat 9X13 pan with cooking spray( we are using a large pan because we want the cake to come out 3/4 inch thick.) 
3. put chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl and add boiling water, whisk until smooth
4.In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt, wick
5. beat butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs and beat, add vanilla and beat
6. now add the chocolate and flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat well. 
Bake for about 30 min at 325 or until knife comes out clean.

Ingredients for Mousse:
1 cup semi sweet semi sweet chocolate 
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Recipe for Chocolate Mousse:
1.melt the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring in between, set aside once smooth
2. whip egg whites for 3 minuets, add sugar and whip 3 more minuets or until stiff peaks.
3. in another bowl whip heavy cream, set aside
4. in yet another bowl whisk vanilla and egg yolks
5. now fold everything together gently and carefully with a runner spatula. 

Ingredients For Ganache:
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of cream
3 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt

Recipe for Ganache:
In a small saucepan heat cream until piping hot but not a boil, add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth.  Set aside to cool for about 20-30 minuets. You may speed this up by putting in the refrigerator.

Other Ingredients and tools:
Silicone domes or muffin pan
1 bag of red chocolate disks (you may buy at any craft store)
6 tablespoons of canola oil seperated
1 cup of light pink or white chocolate disks for decoration

ASSEMBLY DIRECTIONS:
1. scoop about 3 tablespoons of mousse into each silicone mold
2. when ganache is warm not hot you may fill each mold with 2 tablespoons of ganache. 
3.Now with a heart shaped cookie cutter c cut the cake to the size of the silicone mold and place a cake circle over the ganache filling. 
4.Once you have done this to all truffles, place them in the freezer for at least 4 hours or  overnight.
5. Now peel the mousse truffles out of the silicone molds folding the silicone back to release and place on a wire cooling wrack. 
6. Melt the red chocolate and 4 tablespoons of canola oil until smooth and pour over top of each truffle. This mixture should be quite thin. If it is too thick it will clump and look terrible. Trust me. More oil is always better!!!!
7. finally melt the pink or white chocolate and place in a plastic bag, cut the tip off and pipe to decorate!!! 

VOILA!!!!!!!!!!!


Happy Valentine's Day Lovelies! I hope you have someone sweet to share it with!






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On My Heart


Every since I can remember I have struggled badly with cyclical depression. I go through the spring and summer months with flying colors; not a care in the world.

Then once the winter sets in I get depressed. It's the lack of light. I miss the sunshine on my face everyday. I miss the green trees, the wildflowers, the animal life.

It's like suddenly everything has stopped to hybernate; Everthything except us.


I have traveled the world enough to know what it's like in many other cultures.
So many times in my life I have wished I could live like they do in Europe; work a few hours in the morning, come home cook an afternoon meal, take a family nap, then wake up and work a few more hours.
Meanwhile, on your way home from work picking up a few local ingredients to cook with that evening; always having a beautiful FRESH meal on hand instead of frozen hot pockets or whatever other garbage they try to make  us feed our poor children in this country.

We work like dogs........never sleep........eat garbage......and don't mentally nourish ourselves. There is a lot of of work to be done here in the USA if we all want to be healthy, happy individuals. As a counrty we are severly over worked and over stressed.

I am a nurse. I earn a decent salary and yet almost every single coworker of mine has to have 2 jobs or work overtime just to scrape by. I work overtime every single week and we barely scrape by. We have no cable TV. We have no cell phones. We have one land line in our home. We only have one car that we share. It's a 1995 Subaru that barely runs. We go out to ewat teice a year. We do not belong to any clubs or gyms or have any other extra expenses and STILL we BARELY make the mortgage payment every month.

No wonder everyone's on an anti-depressant, obese and has ADD. We feed ourselves poison, never sleep, and work like slaves. 

Honestly most of my budget goes to food. Good food. Organic food. I want my children to be as healhty as they can be but some can't even afford that.

The state of everyday life in this country overwhelms me.

We must continue to work and be mothers and wives and role models. There is no choice. We must persevere through the hard times hopefully while staying relitively sane and not gaining 100 pounds or staying in bed for 5 days at a time. I use those as examples because that's what I want do when I can't deal anymore.

I have made a vow since my children were born that I would be the absolute best mother I could be and I am fighting with all my strength right now to hold true to that.

Everyday I fight to get out of bed. I fight to go to work. I fight to have a free happy spirit. And try desperately not to think "what is wrong with me? Why is my life so hard and how can this possibly be my reality?"

and then I remember, God never gives us more than we can handle.

So........I handle it.
I'm running 30-40 miles a week and I think it may have saved my life. Without it I think I probably WOULD be in my bed 5 days a week.

I am so grateful for these legs that carry me.

Sometimes when I'm having a hard time on one o fmy runs I yell out "FIGHT HANNA FIGHT!!" and the other runners on the path look at me like I'm a nut case.

Who cares!!! I probably am but at least I'm trying and at least I'm FIGHTING!!!! At least I'm out there not letting life drag me down.



I say it over and over again, I WILL NOT LET LIFE HOLD ME DOWN!!!!!


And trust me my friends, I have a long, sorted history that many of you don't know about and I'm sure over time it will all be revieled but I assure you this is no where close to rock bottom for me.

That being said, I have been there before and have no intension of going back so ONWARD and UPWARD it must be!!!



So today I stand before you hoping and praying for a break. Hoping and praying that God will give me mercy soon.

Hoping and praying that this imense amount of love I have to give to the world will be allowed to shine through becasue everyday I FIGHT WITH ALL MY STRENGTH, ALL MY HEART, ALL MY SOUL!!!!


Thank you for listening beautiful people!
How gorgeous is this cuff????? Want one? {Hayden Harnett}


What I'm Wearing
I would like to take the time to give a HUGE thank you to my friends at {BLUE PLATYPUS} for this gorgeous shirt!!!!!
It's soft, 3/4 sleeve with a little puff sleeve and a fabulous floral screen print!!! It falls at the low hip and is fitted for a woman's curves.
What can I say? It's fabulous and I love it.
Please pay them a visit. Their clothes are 100% Indie, 100% one of a kind and 100% made in the USA


Jeans are J.Brand and shoes are Steve Madden!

Photobucket





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Brutal Truth is a Beautiful Thing Interview with Nina Banks


I have started a little interview process called  "Brutal Truth is a Beautiful Thing."
I'm doing this because I love to get to know the "real" people behind their blogs. I think so many of us are afraid to tell the truth whatever it may be. We want others to like us. We want others to read our blog. We don't want to scare anyone away.

Me included!! 

You can read my itnterview anytime {HERE}  
 
For the first year I never really shared a lot of personal information because I didn't think people wanted to hear it.I posted my recipes and a few cute pics of the kids and that's it. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, people still want all the fabulous recipes and cute photos but they want to know me. I have gotten the biggest responses from my "on my heart" posts. People want to know you, what makes you you, the person you are. They want to know how you live your life. They don't want a bunch of  nonsense about how fancy your car is and perfect your life is. I think we all want to be able to relate to each other and NONE of us are perfect!!!


Today's Interview: Nina Banks

What's your greatest weakness?
Being defensive. I hate disappointing people, making a mistake, or not living up to some expectation, so I get really defensive. I know I'm not perfect, and so does everyone else. I don't know why, but alwasy get flustered and worked up.

What's your greatest strength?
I'm a lover, through and through. Almost to a fault, I just want to love, hug, and support everyone. Many times this strength has led me to befriend people who only use me, or treat me poorly. I want so badly for everyone around me to be happy, so I often allow myself to be a doormat or not standup for myself simply to keep the peace.
What has emotionally crippled you in your lifetime?
I was 14 and it was my first year of high school. I'd been a dancer all my life and loved it more than I could describe. I had danced at a studio for years, but really wanted to get invovled with the activities at school. Our dance team was down right pathetic and there was basically no way on the face of the planet I was joining it....so cheerleading it was.
I rocked the try-outs, made the team, and for the most part came to love my new sport. We were a serious, competitve team. Major stunts, gymnastics, the works. It wasn't dance, but it certainly was fun, except for my coach.
Screaming and yelling were only the tip of the iceberg with her. Her words had a way of biting you, cutting you to the core. I was young, I looked up to her, and got my heart and confidence smashed into pieces.
We were on our way to cheer camp happily bouncing around the bus chatting with one another. I remember very little about the conversation, or how it got started. All I remember is a bunch of us were sitting around talking to our coach, eating from a tub of red vines, when she proceeded to call me and a few of my teammates out for being "roley polies".
I heard nothing else from that point on, just feeling my cheeks turn bright red with embarassment and shame. The rest of the camp went by in a blur of being over-practiced, not enough sleep, and having our coach play food police at every meal. The rest of the season went on similarly for me, I was called a liar and brat when my knee hurt due to a 3 month long mis-diagnosed torn meniscus, a wuss for needing surgery to correct the problem, and then was stuck in the back of routines like I didn't exist when I was well enough to cheer again.
The worst part of it all, her son was one of my friends, and her daughter only a year younger. I went to a small school, we all knew each other, we were all friends, sort of. I left the team after that year and started a re-vamped dance team. I became competition, and therefore enemy #1. She told other girls to hate me and make fun of me, all while spying on my team, stealing my choreography and songs. I never realized anyone could be so hurtful to someone else, let alone an authority figure to an impressionable child.
As I write this, I realize that I still haven't really come to grips with this hellish year. Part of me is still that scared little 14 year old who was told she was too fat, a liar, not good enough...

(I'm on the O)
What has elated you with joy in your lifetime?
It sounds so cheesy, but being a mom. I've always been a little mommy, loving to babysit and care for all my younger cousins. I was always dying to hold the baby, or play with the little ones. I kinda always knew I was meant to be a momma, but I had no idea how much love and joy this role would bring me. I really feel that I didn't come into my own until I became a mom.

Have much have you evolved since your teenage years? Are you a similar person?
I am, and I'm not all at the same time. As a teenager I was very self-conscious and not confident in myself at all. While I'm far from being in a great place with this, I'm much better than I was.
I spent much time as teenager searching for answers. I visited many churches, attended different services with friends, spent lots of time questioning. Now that I've found my church, my beliefs, and what I stand for, I'm a much more confident and self-assured person.
(me and the hubs at HS graduation)

What's something you don't want to tell us about?
Two words...chub rub. It's so embarassing and annoying when my pants inbetween my thighs, or my tops along my sides pill up from chub rub. Please tell me someone else gets this too!!


When the world is crashing down on you, where do you go?
My couch with a blanket, my little man snuggled up next to me, and "Pride and Prejudice" the Kiera Knightly version playing. I could sit there for days.

Do you have any goals? What are they?
My biggest goal is to get in better shape. I don't really care what size or weight that means, just as long as I feel good. I've been going to kickboxing and eating healthier and while I hate to admit it, I feel better. I want to keep this up and keep improving.
I also want to grow Momma Go Round and reach moms everywhere who are stuck in that horrible frumpy mom rut that I was in. It has done wonders for my self esteem and confidence to try new looks, put effort into how I look most days, and develop my style. Just because we are moms doesn't mean we have to succumb to the frumpy mom look!

Can you honestly say you love what you do?
I CAN!!! I'm blessed beyond measure that I get to be a stay at home mom. Everyone always warned me that the time goes so quickly and they grow so fast, but I never could comprehend it until now. In the blink of an eye LJ went from a little baby to a big boy. I'm so glad that I get to be here for every minute, even the ones I wish I could skip.
Being at home has also allowed me to develop my identity as Nina, not just a mom. I can carve out time for my blog and Etsy shops. These things have helped me define myself more than I ever thought a little blog or hobby could.

Who has been the single most influential person in your lifetime thus far?
My Papa. He always has the right thing to say, stays calm and collected in every situation, and truly has a heart of gold. By technicality he is my step-grandfather, but has never ever, not even once, looked at me as anything less than his little girl. I can only hope that my son will grow up to be half the man my Papa is.

Honestly, we are all striving for something, what is your greatest goal in life? I'm not talking about money!
To build a happy, peaceful, loving family. We are so close and love spending time together now, I want to strive to continue that as LJ and future kids get older. If I can raise my kids to be kind, generous, loving, open, successfully funtioning adults who still love to call mom for a chat and are never ashamed to give me a hug, then I have succeeded.
Name your most defining moment!!!
I had a C-section with LJ so I was pretty much at the mercy of everyone else for the first few days. The first night we were in the hospital, LJ woke up to nurse and his crying woke up my hubby. He got up, handed LJ over to me, and proceeded to go back to sleep. When LJ was done, there was no way to wake up my hubby without waking the baby, and my bed was too far from the phone for me to reach to call a nurse. That first night, LJ and I slept cuddled in bed with him in the crook of my arm, and we have snuggled that same way everyday since. It was at that moment that I realized my purpose and that he would be the great joy of my life.
Are there people in your past that you wish you could make amends with?
Honestly, no. There are people who I no longer speak to and each one is for a reason. I too often let myself be a doormat and if I were to make amends with those people, I feel that I would never be respected. While I will always be nice and cordial, I never wish to be friends again.

What memory will be forever burned in your mind to the point where you can smell the room and feel the energy?
Turning the corner to walk down the aisle with my dad at my wedding. I'm a rather silly person, and all the anxiety and nerves totally got the best of me. I expected to cry at that moment, but my dad knew just what to do. He pulled out his phone and snapped a picture of us just before our cue. That moment totally helped break my nerves and so I could let go, enjoy the moment, and let out the biggest nervous laugh halfway downt the aisle. It was a very "me" moment.
What movie and/or book speaks to you?
Pride and Prejudice. I'm a lost cause as a hopeless romantic. There is nothing I love more than the feeling of being swept off my feet. I know life will never meet the expectations of a movie/book, but a girl can dream can't she?
What is your greatest wish right here and now?
Without a doubt to buy a home. We live in LA and housing prices are more than a little insane. We are working hard and saving as much as we can, so hopefully we can get a place of our own. With a busy body toddler and hopefully more kiddos in our future, we would love a yard for them to run around in, a garage filled with bikes and scooters, and a laundry room filled with muddy jeans from happy kids.


First of all, let me say a HUGE thank you to Nina for taking the time to participate in my series and thank you for your brutal truth Nina; an amazing story!

I can't say I know Nina personally but I have been religiously linking up to her "what I wore" parties on Mondays for months and months. I adore her blog. She has an amazing sense of style; a role model to all mom's out there!!!! Please pop over to her amazing blog Mama go Round and check it out. You will not be disappointed. I promise!!!!

You May read the entire series of "Brutal Truth" Interviews {HERE}
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Creole Shrimp and Corn Pot Pies

I have been quiet inspired by my trip back to New Orleans lately and cannot wait to taste all the Delicious food I have waiting for me around very single corner. 

If you have all never been there I HIGHLY recommend a visit. You will not be disappointed, I promise. 
So this is a little dish I like to to whip up when I 'm in the NOLA state of mind! 

Ingredients:
Double order of pie crust. Store bought or I use {THIS RECIPE}
1 pound shrimp peeled and cleaned
1 red bell pepper diced
The corn from 3 fresh corn Cobb's
4 toes of garlic minced
4 stalks of celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons Tony Chachere's
2 cups cream
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter

Recipe
1. In a frying pan saute garlic, celery, and bell pepper until tender, about 10 minuets. Now add in corn for a few minuets longer, Salt and pepper to taste.Remove from heat and stir in raw shrimp. Set aside.
2. Next in a saucepan melt butter over medium heat and add flour. Once combined whisk in cream until a little thick and add The Tony Chachere;s spice. Set aside.
3, Now divide your double order of pie crust in 2. Now take each order and divide evenly into 6 little balls. Roll each one out and place into the little tin pie containers. Now fill the pies with the corn and shrimp mixture and top with the cream sauce. Now roll out the addition 6 little dough balls and top the pies. Pinch the crust shut and brush with egg wash or freeze. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minuets.



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